Critics Consensus

Arrival is Certified Fresh

Plus, Almost Christmas is overstuffed, and guess Shut In's Tomatometer.

by | November 10, 2016 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have aliens among us (Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner), a housebound mother’s worst nightmare (Shut In, starring Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay), and the first holiday dramedy of the season (Almost Christmas, starring Danny Glover and Kimberly Elise). What do the critics have to say?


Arrival (2016) 94%

Hollywood has imagined mankind meeting alien life countless times, making it fairly difficult to grab a film fan’s attention with yet another entry in the genre. Difficult, but not impossible: with this weekend’s Arrival, director Denis Villeneuve delivers a refreshingly thoughtful take on first contact that’s also already one of the year’s most widely acclaimed releases. Starring Amy Adams as a linguist called upon to decipher our visitors’ communication before the planet tilts into war, this Venice Film Festival favorite has critics spewing the kinds of superlatives that don’t ordinarily come attached to movies featuring aliens and spaceships. As we settle into prestige season at the cineplex, this looks like one release capable of bridging the gap between popcorn entertainment and pundits’ praise.


Almost Christmas (2016) 49%

It wouldn’t be the holidays at the movies without at least one warmhearted ensemble dramedy about a squabbling family solving its differences in time to bond over carols under the tree. It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet, but at the theaters this weekend, it’s Almost Christmas, the latest from writer-director David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim, First Sunday). Starring a crowded cast that includes Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Mo’Nique, and J.B. Smoove, Christmas brings several generations together under one roof for the holidays, and if you’ve gotten this far, you pretty much know the drill — just as it most likely won’t surprise you that critics aren’t overly impressed with the end result, which has been accused of stuffing an overload of clichés into an already unnecessarily crowded plot. Unless you’re in a rush to watch a holiday movie in theaters this weekend, it looks like you can safely skip Almost Christmas.


Shut In (2016) 7%

The old trapped-in-a-house gambit is a pretty dependable horror setup, and we know Naomi Watts is pretty darn talented. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much more about Shut In, in which Watts stars as a grieving mom caring for her paralyzed son during a major storm while growing increasingly convinced there’s an intruder in her home, because it wasn’t screened in advance for critics. Guess that Tomatometer!


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

GIFs ratings south america President Pirates miniseries Comic Book justice league Rock APB YouTube Red Starz indiana jones social media Mudbound teaser Avengers classics Drama Lifetime Christmas movies Binge Guide Hallmark Christmas movies Netflix serial killer Toys dceu sitcom YouTube Premium game of thrones renewed TV shows festivals National Geographic 2020 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Pixar Chernobyl Awards Tour Bravo romance BBC America Amazon Prime reviews Star Wars Spike BBC 71st Emmy Awards Superheroe concert based on movie Lucasfilm Pop Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MTV MCU werewolf RT History Tumblr what to watch news Heroines Mary Poppins Returns blockbuster sequel DC streaming service Holiday binge green book technology Apple TV Plus Disney Apple TV+ TCA 2017 Star Trek best Character Guide Columbia Pictures Lionsgate Endgame psychological thriller San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Mystery Podcast 24 frames fast and furious DirecTV supernatural indie SundanceTV crossover natural history Disney+ Disney Plus Black History Month OWN The Arrangement American Society of Cinematographers casting rotten Watching Series Writers Guild of America streaming Extras E! Warner Bros. VOD USA comiccon 007 Emmys spain thriller Disney streaming service Cosplay 20th Century Fox joker Cartoon Network parents slashers cancelled TV series Amazon Prime Video versus Red Carpet VH1 hispanic Masterpiece DC Comics Ghostbusters Shondaland Reality Television Critics Association GoT Spectrum Originals cars Funimation Amazon Studios independent LGBTQ documentaries Mary poppins spider-man FX TruTV Best and Worst TCA Winter 2020 Lifetime Logo Marvel Studios documentary Premiere Dates cops nbcuniversal Tomatazos rotten movies we love BAFTA harry potter Western award winner Nominations cancelled television ABC TLC aliens sports MSNBC Turner Sci-Fi space Pride Month Dark Horse Comics transformers TV renewals singing competition child's play Classic Film politics Travel Channel political drama spy thriller Adult Swim mission: impossible FXX Peacock Sneak Peek name the review disaster Fall TV The CW BET Awards Year in Review 2015 ABC Family CBS All Access toy story Valentine's Day sag awards Hallmark Sundance TV Captain marvel CBS 4/20 TV Pop TV psycho TIFF ITV screenings universal monsters E3 Paramount travel composers Freeform reboot Family zero dark thirty spinoff Martial Arts PBS Photos zombie ESPN criterion science fiction golden globes latino facebook television stand-up comedy jamie lee curtis adventure Grammys Walt Disney Pictures HBO Max BET LGBT revenge historical drama RT21 Fantasy medical drama NYCC Box Office dc Emmy Nominations Vudu Paramount Network YouTube OneApp The Walking Dead christmas movies Trailer war Mary Tyler Moore witnail movie richard e. Grant Rom-Com Musicals Sundance Now BBC One zombies Film Festival WarnerMedia Hear Us Out chucky Marathons PaleyFest Britbox Marvel Infographic Superheroes satire 21st Century Fox crime thriller vampires See It Skip It cancelled book crime drama animated comedies comics critics Opinion TCM Tubi Elton John Teen HBO Winter TV period drama IFC VICE Video Games Disney Plus Syfy Song of Ice and Fire screen actors guild DC Universe First Reviews TNT Academy Awards laika biography Sony Pictures FX on Hulu The Purge a nightmare on elm street 2016 PlayStation Animation Showtime obituary tv talk Cannes Holidays Awards emmy awards blaxploitation Women's History Month dogs cats stop motion Trophy Talk hist Interview video Rocketman hollywood police drama IFC Films Film Universal stoner Epix GLAAD series 2017 The Witch FOX Biopics CW Seed elevated horror Arrowverse History Brie Larson Creative Arts Emmys Schedule breaking bad USA Network 2018 talk show Ellie Kemper TCA Awards cults Spring TV romantic comedy diversity Tarantino halloween dragons Country YA finale video on demand NBC cooking robots cartoon Ovation New York Comic Con Horror canceled batman TV Land free movies TCA ghosts scary movies comic Countdown Acorn TV SDCC anime Shudder Comedy anthology game show twilight mockumentary discovery El Rey true crime Winners directors Certified Fresh Kids & Family children's TV Election adaptation HBO Go Comedy Central Nickelodeon Esquire Reality Competition Mindy Kaling Musical Amazon DGA 45 Crunchyroll Quiz Comics on TV Calendar Anna Paquin Apple Oscars Hulu A24 unscripted cinemax strong female leads Food Network Nat Geo CNN cancelled TV shows Summer Rocky kids Super Bowl Action superhero die hard CMT foreign Sundance Discovery Channel Disney Channel Christmas spanish language franchise Music all-time Fox News Stephen King worst mutant First Look Turner Classic Movies crime AMC theme song nature docudrama Crackle dramedy A&E Trivia dark Pet Sematary SXSW boxoffice Baby Yoda doctor who TBS X-Men asian-american Television Academy 72 Emmy Awards Polls and Games Thanksgiving WGN films movies canceled TV shows Netflix Christmas movies Black Mirror Marvel Television quibi Set visit